Jesus Called Him Simon Again

When Jesus called Simon to be His disciple, Jesus gave him a new name: Peter. In the garden of Gethsemane just before he was betrayed by Judas, however, Jesus called Peter by his former name once again. I never noticed this before, and our pastor (Matt Jones) pointed it out today in his sermon. In Mark 14:37 we read:

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?

Jesus calls us all to remain awake and not sleep as we face times of trial together.

Excited for 2015 Mo Ranch Men’s Conference!

This weekend I’m attending the Men’s Council planning retreat for the May 2015 Men’s Conference at Mo Ranch, which is a Presbyterian retreat center near Hunt, Texas. Amidst the busyness of our fall schedules, this is an awesome opportunity to briefly visit the beautiful hill country of Texas with my wife and have some fellowship and planning time with other Christian men.

Mo Ranch Men’s Conference Planning Counc by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Wesley Fryer 

I’ve been coming to Mo Ranch (@PresbyMoRanch) for the men’s conference for about seven years, and it’s become a VERY important part of my life. My dad has been coming down with me for the last 3 or 4 years, and it’s a non-football weekend for us to fellowship together that’s become an awesome tradition.

Panorama at Mo Ranch - Saturday BBQ! by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Wesley Fryer 

This morning at our Men’s Council planning meeting, our Men’s Council President Michael Brundeen shared a little about our 2015 conference keynote speaker and worship leader. Donovan Drake, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. His description of Donovan’s sermons that he’s heard in the past was incredible! Michael heard him preach on the story of Noah’s Ark, when he extended the metaphor to “who are you bringing on your ark?” The focus was on thinking about the legacy you build and shape today which will have LOTS of impact down the road. I’m not only energized to hear Donovan at Mo Ranch next year, but also subscribe to his sermon series which is available as a podcast both on iTunes and via an RSS feed. (I use the latter with the Pocket Casts smartphone app.) I’m not doing justice to Michael’s description of Donovan’s sermon messages here… but suffice it to say I’m SUPER energized to hear him. Jesse Truvillion has been our Bible study leader at Mo Ranch for many years. It will be exciting to hear from Donovan Drake and have him bring fresh messages to our attendees.

Michael also told us about Rev. Dr. David G. McKechnie, who will be our 2015 Men’s Conference keynote speaker. David has a very interesting background, prior to attending seminary and becoming a pastor, as a television news anchor. Michael said David is a FANTASTIC storyteller, and has compelling ability to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with his stories. I can’t find a podcast RSS feed or videos on YouTube for any messages by David, so if you have or find one please share it as a comment to this post. I’m VERY enthused to hear his keynote message for us at our 2015 conference.

Wherever you are in your faith journey, if you are a man I encourage you join us Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4, 2015 at Mo Ranch for the Men’s Conference. It will be a renewing and refreshing experience of fellowship and growing in faith following God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Follow and Walk in the Light of Jesus

This is one of the scripture passages we are considering this morning in church:

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.  Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. (John 12:35-36 NIV)

Wherever we are, we are called to share the light and love of Christ. We pray for the inner life to control the outer life. (To walk the talk.)

Tweets from Presentations by Nabeel Qureshi in Oklahoma

These are my tweets from a sermon and afternoon presentation by Nabeel Qureshi at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma, on February 9, 2014. My Christian Twitter channel is @eyesrightblog – my professional channel is @wfryer. Nabeel’s web bio is:

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi is a former devout Muslim who was convinced of the truth of the Gospel through historical reasoning and a spiritual search for God. Since his conversion, he has dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel through teaching, preaching, writing, and debating.

Nabeel has given lectures at universities and seminaries throughout North America, including New York University, Rutgers, the University of North Carolina, the University of Ottawa, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Biola University. He has participated in 17 moderated, public debates around North America, Europe, and Asia. His focus is on the foundations of the Christian faith and the early history and teachings of Islam.

Nabeel is a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He holds an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University, and an MA from Duke University in Religion.

Ask Lots of Questions (and listen!)

This is our memory verse in our new Sunday school rotation:

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. (Luke 2:46 NIV)

We don’t have many stories in the Bible about Jesus as a child, but we do have this story. I love how it reveals Jesus, even at a young age, as a question asker! He was also a good listener. These are both behaviors we should copy as followers of Christ!